Staying on the marriage string, we wanted to note a stat we found buried in this recent piece on Unification Church mass weddings. The reporter found a figure that Microkhan has long been on the hunt for, regarding the divorce rate for arranged marriages (of the non-Moonie sort):
Amitrajeet A. Batabyal, an economics professor at Rochester Institute of Technology who has studied arranged marriages in Southeast Asia, Europe and the United States, said he believes about 15 percent to 20 percent of arranged marriages around the world end in divorce…By contrast, a 2005 National Center for Health Statistics report showed that 35 percent of women and 31 percent of men in the United States had ended their first marriages after 10 years.
The standard caveats apply, of course: the data is highly suspect because divorce is both legally tougher and more socially stigmatized in nations where its commonly practiced. We’d love to know if Batabyal has any way of breaking out the U.S. figures alone, which we’d assume involve first-generation immigrants of the sort mentioned in the post below.
On the flip side, divorces are on the rise in India, the arranged-marriage heartland. And the U.S. divorce rate has simultaneously been falling, in part because couples of cohabiting longer before tying the knot (and thus getting better at figuring out who ain’t worth the plunge).
We still stand by our earlier assertion that there’s a “natural rate” of divorce which both laws and societal norms should view as a sensible target. How does 22.5 percent strike y’all?